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Judith Keir

2018-2020 / Bachelor of Counselling (Christchurch Campus)

Coming back to study after a gap of over 30 years was both daunting and exciting. I quickly realised I was in good company, with a wide range of ages and back stories. I enjoyed the intimacy of a small campus and, in the words of the song, where everyone knows your name.

The high point was graduation when friends and family gathered to pause and reflect on all that had led to that moment. Steeped in prayer and giving God the glory, it was the perfect way to celebrate hard work and the power of community.

Studying counselling at Laidlaw proved to be transformational in many ways. The nature of the degree invites and necessitates an inward and outward focus. I was asked to think theologically about what it means to be a person and as a result find intrinsic value in clients from all kinds of backgrounds and perspectives.

The interweaving of theology with counselling has provided me with a broad skills base and a foundation upon which to exercise those skills. It is not for the faint of heart, but the rewards are plentiful and the support and camaraderie abundant.

I am doing what I love as a school guidance counsellor. I've also helped co-facilitate a first-year process group!

I'm grateful God continued to nudge me in the direction of a career change, whilst not wasting the years I'd spent as a teacher. I'm grateful He persuaded me it's never too late to do something new, even if it's challenging. I'm grateful for the support of my family and the friends I made along the way.

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